Fresh Start, Fresh Resolutions: A Guide for Dining Out in 2024

Dining Out in 2024. So, we’ve stepped into a new year, bringing with it the chance for a do-over, a bit like that pristine layer of snow before it turns into slush. Now, not everyone might be scribbling down resolutions, but here’s a secret: your servers kinda hope you are. They have a wishlist of do’s and don’ts, and a dash of customer courtesy can make their day. Let’s dive into some resolutions that will make your dining experience smoother and your servers smile.

Tip Smart: It’s All About Percentages

Here’s the deal with tipping: calculate it on the original bill, not the discounted total. If you’re blessed with a two-for-one deal or a complimentary cocktail, don’t shortchange your server. The tip is for the full spread they’ve served you, not just what you paid for. No one likes to see their tip shrink because you’ve got a coupon in hand.

Respect the Clock: Know When to Dine

A golden rule: respect the restaurant’s opening and closing times. Google is your friend, and so is the restaurant’s website. Showing up before they unlock the doors or striding in minutes before closing isn’t a power move; it’s more likely to irk the staff. Be a savvy diner and plan your visit within the operating hours.

Menu Matters: Read Before You Ask

Servers have a pet peeve, and it’s all about ignoring the menu. That piece of paper is your food bible, and a quick scan will save everyone time. Questions are cool, but not before you’ve given the menu a once-over. Specific queries are welcome; general “What should I get?” questions right off the bat? Not so much. Bring your glasses, the font is small, and QR codes are here to stay.

Server Wisdom: Listen Up!

Servers aren’t just delivering food; they’re a treasure trove of menu knowledge. When your server spills the details about the specials, don’t turn around and ask, “So, what are the specials?” Pay attention, or you might find your dressing options reduced to oil and vinegar or ranch. It’s a menu, not a mystery novel.

Decision Time: Be Ready to Order

When you declare, “I’m ready to order,” make sure you mean it. Picking up the menu for the first time after that statement is a recipe for awkwardness. Servers have a million things on their plate (literally and figuratively), and you saying you’re ready when you’re not just slows things down.

Phone Etiquette: It’s Not a Permanent Attachment

Here’s a shocker: cell phones are detachable. Unless you’re checking closing times or scanning a QR menu, give your phone a break while your server is at the table. Your Instagram can wait; focus on the person taking your order. And when the food arrives, tuck that phone away. The hot plates need table space more than your iPhone does.

In a Nutshell: A Fresh Dining Approach

So, there you have it – a guide to restaurant resolutions for the savvy diner. Will these fall by the wayside like that gym membership you got in January? Perhaps. But just like hitting the reset button, it’s nice to know you can start anew. Happy dining!